ABOUT FAIR TRADE

Fair Trade Information

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a movement: a socially innovative response to market failure – the failure of a conventional globalised trade system to incorporate fair access to markets, wage justice and environmental standards. The origins of the Fair Trade Movement can be traced back 50 years where, rooted in trade justice and human solidarity, it established alternative methods of supplying products with a shared understanding of fairness and trading partnerships. Buying Fair Trade products (whether made by artisans or workers or grown by farmers) allows us, as consumers, to support trade justice through our purchasing choices.


Why Fair Trade?

The benefits of international trade are not shared fairly by everyone in the world. Small scale producers whether farmers or artisans have limited access to market and price information. As a result, they are often dependent on middlemen and receive smaller returns for their work. Many plantation and factory workers endure low pay, unsafe working environments and poor living conditions.

Fair Trade promotes trade equality and justice. From producer through to consumer -- it is about ensuring the choices we make have a positive impact on our lives, the lives of others and the environment.

The term Fair Trade is used to refer to the Fair Trade Movement as a whole and the organisations that abide to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade. This includes both labelled and unlabeled Fair Trade goods and the work of the World Fair Trade Organisation. 

Fair Trade refers to businesses selling manufactured and artisan made products. These enterprises may be endorsed by the Fair Trade Association to become a Fair Trader of Australia. Their business can also be guaranteed through the World Fair Trade Organisation. This endorsement assures consumers that these products have been made under Fair Trade working conditions and that these social enterprises are following the 10 Principles of Fair Trade in their business practice.

Fairtrade (one word) refers to primary products including tea and coffee, where farmer organisations have undergone the certification and labelling of products by Fairtrade International. The Fairtrade system allows consumers to easily identify products (tea, coffee, chocolate, rice, cotton garments etc – and sports balls) - that have met internationally-agreed Standards according to the Fairtrade system. Learn more from Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.


What is the difference between Fair Trade and Fairtrade?

The term Fair Trade is used to refer to the Fair Trade movement as a whole and the organisations that abide to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade. This includes both labelled and unlabelled Fair Trade goods and the work of the World Fair Trade Organisation. 

Fair trade refers to businesses selling manufactured and artisan made products. These enterprises may be endorsed by the Fair Trade Association to become a Fair Trader of Australia. They can also be endorsed through the World Fair Trade Organisation. This endorsement allows consumers to verify that these products have been made by workers under fair trade working conditions and that these social enterprises are following the 10 Principles of Fair Trade in their business practice.

Fairtrade (one word) refers to primary products including tea and coffee, where farmer organisations have undergone the certification and labelling of products by Fairtrade International. The Fairtrade system allows consumers to easily identify products  (tea, coffee, chocolate, rice, cotton etc – and sports balls) - that have met internationally-agreed Standards according to the Fairtrade system. Learn more from Fairtrade ANZ.

What are the 10 Principles of Fair Trade?


1.

Poverty reduction through trade must form a key part of the organisation's aims. The organisation or business must assist vulnerable producers to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership.


2.

The organisation must be transparent in its management and commercial relations.

The organisation finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes.


3.

The organisation must have concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalised producers. It is responsible and professional in meeting its commitments in a timely manner. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality.

4.

A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed by all through dialogue and participation which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market, taking into account equal pay for men and women and a Local Living Wage. 

5.

The organisation must adhere to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, and  local law on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of products is disclosed and monitored and does not adversely affect the child's well-being.


6.

The organisation does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement. The organisation has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality and respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively.


7.

The organisation provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and / or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and International Labor Organisation's conventions on health and safety. Fair Trade organisations are aware of the health and safety conditions of their producer groups. 


8.

The organisation seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for producers through Fair Trade.

Organisations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities. and access to markets.


9. 

The organisation raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade according to the scope of the organisation.


10.

Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximise the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Want to read more about the 10 Fair Trade Principles?

If you want to find out more about the 10 Principles of Fair Trade you can read about them on the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) site. You can also download the graphic here. 

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